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Lisa Servon

University of Pennsylvania

Nearly 28% of Americans have no bank account or use services such as payday lenders, pawn shops and check cashers, in addition to banks. Much energy has been expended trying to get these people to use banks exclusively without first understanding why they make the choices they do. Servon, chair of Penn’s City and Regional Planning Department, spent months working as a teller at a check casher in the South Bronx and as a payday lender in Oakland, California, in order to understand these choices. She’ll unpack her findings in this platform.

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